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Irenaeus on the Christian Faith: A Condensation of Against Heresies
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Irenaeus on the Christian Faith: A Condensation of Against Heresies


Wipf & Stock 2011

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Irenaeus of Lyons was one of the greatest theologians of the early post-apostolic church. Against Heresies offers a compelling presentation of the Christian faith. Yet, few have read this magnum opus since the first two of its five books focus on exposing and answering Gnostic heresies, and the only complete English version is difficult to read.

James Payton has eliminated both these obstacles by condensing Against Heresies. Most of the interaction with the Gnostics has been removed, allowing Irenaeus’ rich presentation of the Christian faith to shine through. In addition, the English prose has been refurbished to make it accessible. Readers now have access to Irenaeus’ rich presentation that is saturated in a thorough knowledge of Scripture and rooted in the apostolic tradition of the early church.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

For more works by Irenaeus, check out the Life and Works of St. Irenaeus of Lyons.

Key Features

  • Condenses Irenaeus’ Against Heresies
  • Provides early Church material for students and laymen
  • Showcases Irenaeus’ rich presentation of the Christian faith


  • Exposing Heresy: The Views of the Gnostics
  • Exposing Heresy: Disunity among the Gnostics
  • The Christian Faith, as Drawn from the Apostles’ Teachings
  • The Christian Faith, as Drawn from the Words Spoken by Christ
  • The Christian Faith, as Drawn from Further Teaching of Christ and the Apostles

Praise for the Print Edition

James Payton begins his book with a cymbal clash: ‘Irenaeus was the greatest theologian to arise in the Church since the times of the Apostles.’ He is absolutely right. In recent decades he has been caricatured, by some, in the cause of rehabilitating the Gnostics, but his status as a Christian theologian is monumental and his insight is mystically profound. He remains one of the greatest Fathers of the Church catholic; and it is wonderful to see this artistic and skillful abridgment of his signature work made widely available for a new era.

—John A. McGuckin, professor, Columbia University

In the course of the past several decades, Dr. Payton has emphasized the huge importance of St. Irenaeus of Lyons for the history of theology. For years Payton has studied the most important of Irenaeus’ books, Against Heresies, helping to shape an understanding of the ancient theologian as a contemporary. . . . Irenaeus is portrayed as an author who can be recommended to students and laymen, as well as a broad academic audience. Payton’s work on the exploration of patristic theology cannot be overrated and represents a great contribution to the academic theological community.

—Boris Gunjevic, adjunct professor, Theological Faculty of Matthias Flacius Illyricus, Zagreb, Croatia

Product Details

  • Title: Irenaeus on the Christian Faith: A Condensation of Against Heresies
  • Author: James R. Payton, Jr.
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 234
  • Resource Type: Monographs
  • Topic: Theology

About James R. Payton Jr.

James R. Payton Jr. is a professor of history at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He is the author of Light from the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition and Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition